Wiki Pedagogy

A nice broad brush overview of the potential of the wiki in education and the kind of thing you might point a doubtful but inquisitive new teacher to.

This article endeavours to denote and promote pedagogical experimentations concerning a Free/Open technology called a “Wiki”. An intensely simple, accessible and collaborative hypertext tool Wiki software challenges and complexifies traditional notions of – as well as access to – authorship, editing, and publishing. Usurping official authorizing practices in the public domain poses fundamental – if not radical – questions for both academic theory and pedagogical practice.

The particular pedagogical challenge is one of control: wikis work most effectively when students can assert meaningful autonomy over the process. This involves not just adjusting the technical configuration and delivery; it involves challenging the social norms and practices of the course as well (Lamb, 2004). Enacting such horizontal knowledge assemblages in higher education practices could evoke a return towards and an instance upon the making of impossible public goods” (Ciffolilli, 2003).

Wiki Pedagogy

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flatplanet

Mr_O'Carroll's_Class.jpg

flatplanet is a nice working example of a wiki in action. This cross-school project seems part webquest, part web page development and involves a class of students from Canada and class from the UK collaborating on an ‘Environmental Planet’ project, with clear rules and expectations and a judging at the end. Powered by wikspaces.
Wikispaces - Wikis for Everyone

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Wiki Wars

It’s been a while since I went back and did a ‘compare and contrast’ on current wiki engines and which one is best at the moment but I did see that the wiki that first ever got me excited about the idea, PBWiki, is currently expanding and offering ad-free space for some educational blogs on top of their recent improvements to the editing interface. Still worth seriously considering.

BarCamp: Educamp Ireland

Had heard a bit vaguely on some podcasts about the anarchic sounding un-conferences called BarCamps, but did some reading this morning about how they actually work and look and can begin to see the potential.

Essentially, the move is from top-down, pre-ordained, powerpoint speeches by famous people while we sit below them at round tables with a pile of mints, to cooperative and collaborative self-organised and self-running discussions. Kind of like from CNN to Wikipedia as a conference.

They’re about all things, including education. I wonder if I can get leave to attend Educamp Ireland in June?

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Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts

It seemed to take ages to arrive, but Will Richardson’s book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts & Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms finally arrived in the school library yesterday and it looks good, a simple introduction to some of the key tools and just the kind of thing you’d want to leave around the staff room for staff to pick up and browse, and get the idea.

Chapters include, The Read-Write Web, Weblogs: Pedagogy and Practice, Wikis, RSS, Flickr and Podcasting.  I’m looking forward to perusing it in more detail, and then sharing it around.

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More on the Walled Garden

Almost always agree with what Will Richardson has to say in his influential blog weblogg-ed (hey, the library rang me yesterday and told me his book that I’d ordered had just arrived) but his comment yesterday on schools trying to re-create web 2.0 learning WITHIN the school network environment was a bit hard. He quotes a coordinator from Fairfax County Public Schools who says:

“Together, these two tools could give the student the ability to experiment with blogs and wikis in a safe, secure environment where they would receive feedback from their teacher and classmates that was monitored and attributable,” says Paul Regnier, community relations coordinator for Fairfax County Public Schools.

and says that that’s not good enough. I don’t know. A year ago I would have agreed, and I’ve had several animated conversations about how to move schools on in this way. But perhaps schools like Fairfax are working in more complex contexts, and with more diverse constituents that Will is willing to admit, and maybe for most students it doesn’t matter that much. Richardson says in response to the Fairfax statement:

Um, yeah but…are they also being taught to navigate these environments
outside of school so they have the tools to stay safe in the no so
secure real world?

Well, maybe the are being taught just those skills. And maybe you don’t have to be immersed in the not so secure world to build skills, experience and knowledge in students, as well as promoting reflective learning through blogging, or collaborative creativity through tools like wikis?

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Using Wiki in Education

A new online wiki-based book, on using wikis in education, $19 to access the entire book, I haven’t had a chance to look at any of it yet, but it’s an interesting concept; the wiki as book?

They say:

This book is a deep extension of the focus and content on my blog, Using Wiki in Education

It contains 10 case studies written by teachers that describe how they’re using the wiki to transform courses and engage today’s students in a range of environments including high school, small college, major research university, online/distance learning and research lab. This is the first book to focus specifically on the wiki in education and be developed and published using a wiki, so it actively demonstrates the tool in action.

http://www.wikiineducation.com/display/ikiw/Home